The islands of Fiji are revered by divers, who come from around the world to experience some of the planet's most colorful and pristine reefs. Many consider the area between the islands of Vitu Levu and Vanua Levu—a region known as the Bligh Waters—to be the best Fiji has to offer. And the best place to begin an exploration of these storied dive sites is from the Volivoli Beach Resort.
Volivoli Beach Resort is a boutique, family-owned and operated property that overlooks Fiji's famous Bligh Waters. The resort is set on landscaped grounds on the tip of a small peninsula at the northernmost point of Viti Levu. This location means that travelers do not need to make connecting flights or boat rides when arriving at Nadi International Airport, and can instead enjoy a scenic drive along the island's northern coast.
A key feature of the resort is the beach. In the local dialect, “volivoli” is the word for sand, and the property sits on one of the finest white-sand beaches on the island, with a sandbar that stretches more than 250 feet into a reef-fringed lagoon. Sun worshipers will be happy to learn that this northern portion of Viti Levu receives less rain and more sunshine that the island's interior and southern coast.
Volivoli's 28 guest accommodations include both spacious rooms and private villas built in the Fijian bure style. The rooms are designed to accommodate couples or dive buddies traveling together. Each is fitted with two queen beds, or a queen and two singles. Furnishings are crafted from sustainable hardwoods, with amenities that include a writing desk, deck chairs, large ceiling fans, air conditioning and a spacious ensuite bathroom. The stand-alone bures are ideal for families, as they are furnished with a queen-size bed and two sofa beds, and include kitchen and laundry facilities. All accommodations include WiFi coverage and private balconies with sweeping ocean views.
At the center of the resort is the Nuku restaurant, which is surrounded by garden-like landscaping and overlooks the pool. The menu is based on fresh local produce, meats and seafood, and the chefs provide a savory mixture of regional and international dishes. Adjacent to the more traditional dining area and the bar is a casual, sand-floored space that creates a relaxing barefoot-on-the-beach vibe. For an al fresco dining experience, there are additional outdoor dining spaces and tables set on the beach.
Volivoli offers a range of water sports and land-based programs. In addition to snorkeling, kayaking, game fishing, wave runners and beach volleyball, the staff organizes engaging and family-friendly activities such as coconut husking, crab races and fish feedings. The on-site Daulomani Spa is available for a range of relaxing and rejuvenating treatments. There are regular musical and cultural performances at the resort, along with chances to participate in kava ceremonies and boat trips to traditional villages.
The Dive Center
Established in the 1980s, Ra Divers remains one of Fiji's most respected diving operations. Since the early 2000s, the dive operation has been owned and operated by the Darling family, who subsequently built Volivoli Beach Resort adjacent to the dive center. The operation is a PADI and SSI-certified facility that caters to a wide range of divers. Novices can begin their training at the resort; hone tier skills in the shallow waters of the sand spit, then move on to memorable experiences on nearby reefs. Advanced divers can enjoy itineraries appropriate to their abilities and interests, while underwater photographers will find the dive staff well acquainted with the special requirements of underwater imaging.
Ra Divers operates a fleet of custom-built, aluminum-hull dive boats. These fast, outboard-powered vessels can reach most area dive sites in 20 minutes or less. Onboard amenities include fully-shaded decks, bathroom facilities, padded seating, rinse tanks, side doors for easy giant stride entries and a wide stern boarding ladder for easy re-boarding. All are equipped with a full complement of safety equipment, including emergency oxygen. Two primary dive vessels can carry up to 16 divers plus crew, while a six-passenger center console is used for snorkelers and smaller dive groups. In late 2017, Ra Divers will take delivery of a new 35-foot catamaran that will further enhance diver capacity. Daily two and three tank excursions are complemented by unlimited shore diving from the resort beach. The dive center is equipped with rinse tanks and showers, and all equipment is handled, washed and stored daily by the staff.
Ra Divers is ideally positioned for access to more than 50 of Fiji's finest and most revered dive sites. The Bligh Waters contain some of the healthiest and most diverse collections of soft corals in the world. Thick carpets of Alcyonacea in dozens of species adorn reefs in a rainbow of colors from white, red and yellow to deep blue. Underwater landscapes include walls, pinnacles and coral bommies that rise almost to the surface and harbor a rich variety of fish and marine life. Ra Divers visits two of Fiji's best wreck sites, the Papuan Explorer and the Ovalau, along with the famous pinnacle known as E6. Visibility can exceed 150 feet, and the steady currents found on many sites makes for exciting drift dives. The moving waters bring the soft corals to life and allow divers can keep pace with massive schools of fish, or come face-to-face with white tip, black tip and gray reef sharks.
Despite its exotic and idyllic setting, Volivoli Beach Resort is not a prohibitively expensive property, and in fact, represents one of Fiji's best accommodation and diving values. Caradonna works with the resort to offer special packages that include seven nights’ accommodation in an Ocean View room, all daily meals, scheduled resort activities, roundtrip airport transfers, and all hotel tax and service charges. Want to know more? Give us a call at 800-330-6611, or send an email at email@example.com and we'll help you start planning your trip to the incredible underwater sites of Fiji's famous Bligh Waters and beyond.